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Stopping an Invisible Epidemic: Legal Issues in the Provision of Naloxone to Prevent Opioid Overdose


Early in 2008, Australian actor Heath Ledger died in his Manhattan apartment as a result of a drug overdose caused by a cocktail of prescription drugs, including powerful prescription opioids. Death by drug overdose is not particularly unusual among celebrities. Indeed, in the same week that Ledger died, actor Brad Renfro also joined fallen stars like River Phoenix, John Belushi, Mark Tuinei, Janice Joplin, and Jim Morrison in meeting a premature end by overdosing on prescription opioids, heroin, or both.